Working from home as a Contractor? Here’s what you need to know!Posted Wednesday, June 26, 2019
One of the benefits, and in turn a motivator of going Contracting is the flexibility it provides.
For some, this flexibility includes where the actual work is undertaken and contract roles can offer the opportunity to work from home.
If you are working from home (or hoping to shortly!) here’s some of our top tips…
1. The Contract
First, the paperwork. A Contract for Services is an essential and important requirement when engaging with clients. This document will clearly layout the terms you have with your client, what work is to be undertaken, by when and what you can expect to be paid for it.
It’s important that you discuss and agree the “where” also.
2. Your Workspace
Once the Contract is in place and it’s been decided that you will be working from home, it’s time to think about your own workspace. Personal preferences will of course factor into how you organise your workspace. However those who are successful at doing this often recommend choosing a dedicated work space with as few home distractions as possible. It’s also helpful to establish boundaries around your “work time” and your “personal time” so that you can maximise your productivity in the hours dedicated to work.
3. The Technology
Working from home can require discipline, but if you’re new to it, there are plenty of technologies available to help you start. Some of our favourites include “Todoist” (an app for making to-do lists, setting reminders etc.), “Mindmeister (for project planning mind maps might be essential!), and HoursTracker (easily track your hours worked).
While technology can be a distraction at times, it also has its benefits. Instant messaging and video calling allow you to communicate with your clients easily and keep them up to date on the work you are undertaking remotely.
4. The Expenses
Generally speaking Contractors can claim expenses where wholly, exclusively and necessary for their contract role. It’s likely that you will incur expenses if you are undertaking your Contract duties partially or exclusively from home.
You may have practical home office costs such as a furniture (a desk, a chair, a lamp) or it might be equipment that you need (a laptop, monitor etc.). It’s also likely that you’ll have internet and phone costs, which can be allowable business expenses.
There is also a daily rate allowance that you might be able to claim. This is the e-workers allowance and goes towards covering costs incurred when working from home such as heating, electricity etc. It’s €3.20 per day so it’s not going to break the bank as such, but over a 12 month contract that could add up to approximately €700!
If you are claiming business expenses in any area of work, it’s imperative that these costs are supported by receipt and that they are a necessary requirement for the role. Each Contractor’s own circumstances and the nature of the Contract role will of course be taken into account so it’s important that you get specific professional advice.
Get in touch with your Dedicated Account Manager today if you have any questions, we are always delighted and available to help : 1800 5454 22